Android $ May Pass iOS This Year; Lyft Touts Self-Driving Cars; Tesla Boosts Solar Tile Installs; Chrome Will Block Insecure Downloads

Mobile app maker Liftoff claims that Android may generate more app revenue this year than iOS. Venturebeat.com reports that even though 74% of global mobile is on Android, ad dollars have always poured into iOS at a greater rate. Although engagement is about the same for apps on each platform, iOS ad costs are 2-7 times that of Android…and for a reason…iOS users tend to spend more. Liftoff sees mobile gaming as being the area that will drive Android app dollars past iOS. They see the lower costs on Android, combined with higher install-to-register rates as being what pushes them into the lead. Stay tuned…we’ll know later this year if Android does bubble to the top. Certainly Samsung’s just announced partnerships with Google and Microsoft Xbox will help Android to finally depose iOS as the king of mobile ad revenue.

The chief strategy officer for Lyft, Raj Kapoor, gave the keynote yesterday at the MOVE 2020 conference in London. According to Automotive News, a key point he made was that autonomous cars will prove critical to the future of cities. He also warned that ride share services and other for-hire car users should start moving to electric vehicles now, before cities force them to do so. He did note that driverless cars bring some issues that may not be obvious at first. For example, a driverless car won’t see a potential rider trying to ‘wave them down’ on the sidewalk, nor can you tell the car to ‘just drop you off here.’ Another point: in the US particularly, most people identify themselves with driver’s licenses, and indicate organ donation in the event of death. How will those be handled as more and more people give up cars and licenses to be permanent riders in driverless vehicles for hire or mass transit? Of course, there’s also the insurance issue and ‘fault.’ If there’s no driver, is it the owner of the vehicle or the maker who created the software and hardware to replace the driver? All issues we will have to deal with in the coming years.

Although a lot of the buzz around Tesla is from its vehicles…the Model Y about to hit roads soon, or the ‘unusual’ looking (ok…ugly) electric pickup, the company has been busy with its other arm, too. Techcrunch.com says Tesla is ramping up installs of its solar tile roofs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will soon roll them out in Europe and China. In the Bay Area, there is a noticeable increase in ads for solar installations of the tiles and PowerWall storage units (the latter with some nice rebates or sale prices.) The tiles are made in Tesla’s Buffalo, NY factory. Elon Musk announced in a Tweet that he will host a ‘company talk’ in April there, with media and customer tours of the plant. Several months ago, Tesla said they would be ramping up to installing as many as 1,000 solar roofs per week shortly.

Google has announced plans to begin initially warning Chrome users about ‘insecure’ downloads, and will then move to block them outright eventually. Theverge.com reports that Google will gradually ensure that HTTPS (secure) pages only will be able to download files via Chrome. The warnings will start with Chrome v. 82, which is due out in April, then when v. 83 rolls out, executable downloads will be blocked from insecure sites, with warnings applied to archive sites. With v. 84, .PDFs and .doc files will get the warning, and then in v. 85, they will add audio, images, text, and video files. All will be blocked from insecure sites by the time they issue v. 86 of Chrome.



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